Monday, August 31, 2015

Traveling Buddha

Second attempt at Buddha is heading south quickly! :-(
This brings to mind the most popular question people ask artists: "So, how long did it take to paint that?" I wonder if observers really want to hear about the hours of practice runs?!?
Actually, I'm going to let this painting simmer tonight and in the morning may do some experimenting with this. Sometimes it's nice to 'give up' on my painting as it frees me to experiment. I've pulled a few of these out of the gutter. It's alway interesting being an artist!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Video Worth Watching- Joseph Raffael

Hello! Thought I'd share a calm and inspirational watercolor video. This watercolor artist has been a favorite of mine for years. Joseph Raffael is a contemporary watercolor artist. American, but lives in the south of France. Love the music that also accompanies this video! Relax and enjoy!

PS He's also got a fantastic book you can get on Amazon titled: Reflections of Nature: Paintings by Joseph Raffael

Monday, August 17, 2015

Demos from Hope's Watercolor Workshop

Hello! Here are two workshop demos. I think I'd title the top painting something like "Who Says Sunflowers Have To Be Yellow?!?"
The bottom painting is unfinished, yet I believe it says what it needs to say. My point is that many times in art, or watercolor, less is more! :-)

I've had a few questions about the palette (or paint colors) we used in our workshop.  Basically, I used a warm and a cool version of each of the primary colors, plus a few others. These colors vary from manufacturer to manufacture. That’s all good, it just takes experimenting until you find the specific colors you enjoy. Some of my favorite paint companies (or manufacturers) are Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, Holbein & Schminke. However, there are several others that are also top quality. Here is the basic palette I used:

Aurelian Yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Alizarin Crimson or Permanent Rose or Rose Madder Genuine
Cadmium Red
Cadmium Orange
French Ultramarine Blue
Cerulean Blue
Burnt Sienna or Indian Red
Raw Sienna

Making Colors Sing by Jeanne Dobie is a wonderful book focusing on practical lessons in color and design. Jeanne shares fun lessons on mixing beautiful colors. This is available on

Let me know if you have other questions. Happy painting!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Beginning Watercolor Workshop

Hi! It's been awhile but updating my website and blog are on my 'I will get better at' list! 😉 I will upload photos of completed demos when I get back to California. Here is a list of a few things we've covered this week:

Supplies: Creative Coldsnow is the local art store on 25th & University in Des Moines. DickBlick is my online source.

Arches watercolor paper- rough, cold press and hot press. 140 lb is most common and what we used. Other good brands are Lanaquarelle and Fabriano Artistico. All papers react differently with paint. Some are softer, more delicate, some let you lift the paint easier, etc. This is a fun are to explore with!
Tube paints by Daniel Smith, Holbein and Winsor Newton.
Recommended brushes for beginner watercolorists-
1. Sable/synthetic blend. Round. #10. Please buy the best brush you can afford. This makes a difference!  My favorite round? Davinci Maestro Kolinsky Sable or Isabey Pure Sable.
2. Squirrel mop brush size 3. My favorite? Isabey 6234 Petit Gris size 3 or 4.
3. Hake brush (large inexpensive, flat brush used to wet large areas).
Kneaded eraser.
Masking fluid. Remember to use an OLD brush to spread this!
Smaller, old or stiff brush for lifting paint.
Large strait edge ruler.
#2 pencils.
1/2 or 5/8 "Gator board.
Paper towels.
Something to elevate head of your Gatorboard slightly.
Water container.

Artists who have great books or DVDs for beginning/intermediate watercolor students (this list could go on and on....) :-)

Birgit O'Connor- great DVDs!
Karlyn Holman- books and DVDs.
Jeanne Dobie- great book on mixing beautiful grays, greens, etc.
Shirley Trevena- fantastic books and DVDs. Inspirational!
Alvaro Castagnet- entertaining artist. Great books and DVDs.
Joseph Zbukvic- great DVDs
Jean Haines- great books and DVDs.
Vinita Pappas- great artist and teacher. Excels in plain air and landscape painting! Gives online classes and workshops. Has videos on Youtybe.
Des Moines Art Center has great art classes throughout the year. I've met wonderful artists, instructors and friends there.

YouTube has many clips and videos of these great artists.

Iowa Watercolor Society is a great organization and has fantastic fall workshops with world known watercolor artists who give demonstrations and workshops. It's a great way to learn and meet fellow watercolor enthusiasts!

Happy painting!